3044
Austria/Germany
Bicycling Along the Danube
Explore the Danube on comfortable bike paths as you enjoy expert-led lectures on shipping history, folklore and culture. Plus, visit the famous 900-year-old Benedictine Abbey of Melk!
Program No. 3044RJ
Length
14 days
Starts at
3,199
Flights start at
1,225
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14 days
13 nights
24 meals
12 B 0 L 12 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
In Transit to Program
In Flight
DAY
2
Arrive Munich, Transfer to Deggendorf, Orientation
Deggendorf
D
Hotel Burgwirt

Activity note: Biking distance: There will be no biking today which provides an opportunity to relax and rejuvenate after your international flight. Please note that daily biking distances are approximate and may vary due to unforeseen circumstances.

Morning: Proceed by motorcoach to Deggendorf and check into our hotel.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like in Deggendorf. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions.

Afternoon: Orientation: The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the program theme, the up-to-date Daily Schedule and any changes, discuss safety guidelines, emergency procedures, roles and responsibilities, and answer any questions you may have. We have set aside some free time in the schedule for your personal independent exploration. The Group Leader will often be available during scheduled free time for informal excursions, activities, or meals that have been excluded from the program cost. You are welcome to join if you like, with any associated costs on your own. Upon arrival in Deggendorf, bicycles will be fitted to the participant and skill testing will take place. Please be aware that indicated motorcoach times as well as biking distances are approximate and that program activities and schedules could change due to local circumstances such as weather, traffic conditions, etc. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: In the Hotel Burgwirt dining room, enjoy a three-course set menu (with choice of one of two entrées) plus water; other beverages are available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure. The evening is free to continue becoming acquainted with your fellow participants or take a stroll. Get a good night's sleep for the full day tomorrow.

DAY
3
Plattling, St. Jacob's Church, Deggendorf
Deggendorf
B,D
Hotel Burgwirt

Activity note: Biking distance: 16 miles

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room, choose from a buffet with meats, cheeses, eggs, yogurt, cereals, breads, juices and hot beverages.

Morning: After a hearty breakfast, attend a presentation on safety, rules of the road and the IBT Corner System. We’re ready to bicycle and our destination is just a short ride to Plattling, a typical Bavarian town with pastel-colored houses.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like in Plattling.

Afternoon: A lecture at St. Jacob’s Church, one of the few remaining Roman churches in Bavaria, is planned. Following the lecture, return to the hotel along a quiet bike path where we will have our first glimpse of the Danube (or as the locals call it, die Donau).

Dinner: Hotel dining room.

Evening: Learn more about your fellow travelers at Group Introductions after dinner.

DAY
4
Passau, Hofkirchen, Stroll Passau
Passau
B,D
Hotel Weisser Hase

Activity note: Biking distance: 40 miles

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: Today’s the real thing; our destination is Passau, a city at the German-Austrian border. We’ll see immediately why the Danube is so popular with bicyclists: for most of the program we bicycle on paths not accessible to cars.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like at the Gasthof Buchner in Hofkirchen.

Afternoon: Continue cycling along the Danube to our hotel in the center of Passau.

Dinner: In the Hotel Weisser Hase dining room, enjoy a three-course set menu (with choice of one of two entrées) plus water; other beverages are available for purchase.

Evening: Accompany your group leader on a short walk through Passau after dinner.

DAY
5
Passau Architecture Lecture, Organ Concert, Passau Free Time
Passau
B,D
Hotel Weisser Hase

Activity note: Biking distance: no biking

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: Start the day by attending a lecture on the various architectural styles prominent in the towns and villages along our way. Embark on a guided walking excursion and field trip of Passau to learn all about the history of this wonderful city. Visit St. Stephen’s Dom (except on holidays), which has the largest church organ in the world to attend an organ concert.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like in Passau.

Afternoon: Free Time: Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most in Passau. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. Explore the banks of Danube by foot, enjoy a riverboat cruise, or spend the afternoon at the Oberhausmuseum which includes an art gallery and local history museum. If you want to relax, seek out one of the local cafés to sip a beer or cup of coffee while watching the locals.

Dinner: Hotel dining room.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
6
European Union Lecture, Obernzell & Schlögen Ferries
Schlogen
B,D
Hotel Donauschlinge

Activity note: Biking distance: 26 miles

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: Before departure, enjoy a lecture on the European Union at the hotel. Mount your bicycle and head for Obernzell, where the castle that was built by the Bishop of Passau in 1426 as his summer residence stands.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like in Obernzell.

Afternoon: We cross the border into Austria on a bicycle path along the Danube. The route to Schlögen is one of the most scenic rides you could wish for, along the river and through a forest. A ferry takes us across the river to our hotel. Be sure to hike the trail behind the hotel that leads to one of the most magnificent views of the Danube you will see during the program. Enjoy a dip in the indoor swimming pool or relax on a bench along the river before dinner.

Dinner: In the Hotel Donauschlinge dining room, enjoy a three-course set menu (with choice of one of two entrées) plus water; other beverages are available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
7
Aschach, Ottensheim Ferry, Wilhering Church, Badesee, Linz
Linz
B,D
Hotel Kolping

Activity note: Biking distance: 38 miles

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: Our destination this morning is Aschach on the Danube, a beautiful old village featuring homes painted during the Baroque era.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like in Aschach.

Afternoon: After lunch, we bike to Ottensheim where we take a ferry across the river. Enjoy an excursion to Wilhering to visit one of the most impressive Rococo churches in Austria. Linz is our home for the next two nights.

Dinner: In the Hotel Kolping dining room, enjoy a three-course set menu (with choice of one of two entrées) plus water; other beverages are available for purchase.

Evening: Discover Linz by night on a stroll to the Main Square with your Group Leader.

DAY
8
Austrian Economy Lecture, Mauthausen, Linz Free Time
Linz
B,D
Hotel Kolping

Activity note: Biking distance: no biking

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: After breakfast, attend a lecture on the Austrian economy. Continue by motorcoach for an excursion to the remains of the concentration camp, Mauthausen. Formerly a notorious World War II concentration camp built by the Nazis, you’ll see the granite quarries from which the stones were cut to pave many of the streets in Vienna. Many of the camp prisoners died working in these quarries. Today the camp is a memorial with monuments dedicated to the people from many nationalities that died here.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like in Linz.

Afternoon: Free Time: Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most in Linz. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. Explore Linz, the capital of the province of Upper Austria. Don’t miss the Hauptplatz, the former market square, with Baroque buildings and the Rathaus. It was from the balcony of this town hall, on March 12, 1938, that Adolf Hitler announced his thousand-year empire. For a wonderful view of the city, board the Pöstlingbergbahn, the steepest mountain railway in the world. The old-fashioned cars have been making the 16-minute climb of 255 meters to the top of the mountain since 1898. The town abounds with cathedrals, museums and most importantly, Konditoreien. Be sure to find one of these local bakeries and sample the famous Linzer Torte. You might even want to take one with you!

Dinner: Hotel dining room.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
9
Austrian Traditions Lecture, Au an der Donau, Grein
Grein
B,D
Hotel-Restaurant Goldenes Kreuz

Activity note: Biking distance: 39 miles

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: After breakfast, attend a lecture on the traditions and customs of Austria. We leave Linz on the north shore of the Danube and enter the province of Lower Austria towards our destination, Grein.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like at the Gasthof Pühringer in Au an der Donau.

Afternoon: Keep your camera handy as we round the bend in the river; the approach to Grein is truly picturesque. You will love this charming village with its old town hall and wonderful ambiance.

Dinner: In the Hotel Goldenes Kreuz dining room, enjoy a three-course set menu (with choice of one of two entrées) plus water; other beverages are available for purchase.

Evening: Discover the idyllic village of Grein during a walk along the river promenade on your own or with your biking comrades this evening.

DAY
10
Danube Lecture, Schifffahrtsmuseum, Persenbeug, Sankt Nikola
Melk
B,D
Hotel-Restaurant Wachauerhof

Activity note: Biking distance: 33 miles

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: Before leaving Grein, join your fellow travelers for a lecture on the history of the Danube. Following the lecture, embark by foot on a field trip to the Schifffahrtsmuseum (Shipping Museum) and castle which affords a spectacular view of the Danube. Another great day of biking lies ahead.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like in Persenbeug.

Afternoon: We pass by the village of Sankt Nikola, named after the guardian angel of the sailors, and the ruins of Castle Freyenstein, perched high above the Danube. Years ago, the castle was given the nickname "Wines." According to legend, the knights of the castle stopped many of the barges loaded with wine, as they headed for Upper Austria and Bavaria. After paying a considerable ransom in wine, the barges continued their journey. The picturesque town of Melk awaits our arrival.

Dinner: In the Hotel Wachauerhof dining room, enjoy a three-course set menu (with choice of one of two entrées) plus water; other beverages are available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
11
Melk Abbey, The Wachau, Willendorf, Spitz, Durnstein, Krems
Krems
B,D
Parkhotel Krems

Activity note: Biking distance: 26 miles

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: First stop is the famous 900-year-old Benedictine Melk Abbey where we gain insight into the history of this magnificent building. From the balcony of the Abbey one has a splendid view of the Danube. Today’s ride will take us through a wine-growing region called the Wachau. Although we don’t encourage drinking wine during the day, you may want to try the local wine at night. We’ll visit the village of Willendorf where many years ago a chalk statue was found in the fields. The statue, Venus of Willendorf, is believed to be over 25,000 years old. Today, a replica stands at the site.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like in Spitz.

Afternoon: Continue to Durnstein, the oldest town in Lower Austria. High above the town sits the ruins of the castle where Richard the Lion-Hearted was held prisoner until he was rescued by Blondel, his faithful minnesinger. From Durnstein it is only a short ride to our hotel in Krems.

Dinner: At a local restaurant, enjoy a three-course set menu plus water; other beverages are available for purchase.

Evening: A walk led by the group leader after dinner will acquaint us with this charming city.

DAY
12
Tulln, Transfer to Vienna, Vienna Free Time
Vienna
B,D
Hotel Erzherzog Rainer

Activity note: Biking distance: 30 miles

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: Our last day on the bicycle. We have a ride planned along the Blue Danube (which is, incidentally, not blue at all) to Tulln. The terrain is perfectly flat and the biking is most relaxing.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like in Tulln.

Afternoon: We will say farewell to the bicycles (complete with tears and picture taking) before boarding a bus for Vienna (or Wien, as the Austrians call it). Free Time: Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most in Vienna. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions.

Dinner: In the Hotel Erzherzog Rainer dining room, enjoy a three-course set menu featuring tasty local cuisine with water; other beverages are available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
13
Vienna Walking Lecture, Vienna Free Time
Vienna
B,D
Hotel Erzherzog Rainer

Activity note: Biking distance: no biking

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: After breakfast, join a local historian for a guided walk of Vienna to learn about its vivid history. To describe the capital of Austria would take a lot of pages. We suggest you obtain a travel guidebook and read about Vienna before getting there. It is a city perfectly suitable for walking around. Indeed, you may want to consider spending a few extra days to see everything.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like in Vienna.

Afternoon: Free Time: Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most in Vienna. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. Do not leave without visiting Hotel Sacher, near the Opera, to indulge in the REAL Sacher Torte, worth dying for. Order the Einspanner (black coffee with whipped cream) and you will truly experience happiness.

Dinner: Hotel dining room.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
14
Program Concludes, Departures
In Flight
B

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room. This concludes our program.

Morning: Morning transfer to Vienna International Airport for departures. If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!